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The nurse who took her own life after divulging some of Duchess Catherine’s medical history is still remembered by her family five years after her death.


Jacintha Saldanha was working as a night nurse at King Edward VII Hospital in London when she answered the phone call of two Australian radio DJs, Mel Greig and Michael Christian, who impersonated the queen and Prince Charles to trick Saldanha into connecting them with Kate’s unnamed nurse, who told them the Duchess was suffering from severe morning sickness while pregnant with Prince George. Overcome with guilt, Saldanha took her own life three days later, after the prank call was aired.

“The first few years were the hardest,” Saldanha’s daughter, Janice Pinto, 20, told Australia’s WHO magazine. “She would call me every day at 6 p.m., just before she went to work. To check up. You know, ‘How are you doing? How was school?’ That phone call is what I miss every day.”

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The family reportedly will honor Saldanha’s memory with a church service on Dec. 7, the anniversary of her death. Saldanha’s family is also establishing a hospital in India in her honor. The hospital will “take care of the poor people, the sick people from the roadsides,” according to her widower Benedict Barboza, 53, and will be a 200 bed facility in Saldanha’s hometown of Mangalore.

“From a young age, she has always been about helping other people,” Pinto said. “I love the fact that it will be something that she would have planned to do, something she would have wanted if she had retired.”

“My dad’s idea is really amazing,” Pinto continued. “She had plans to open a nursing home or do something for the elderly or the sick, so it’s something she would really want.”

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Saldanha’s son Junal Barboza, 21, added, “She was the sort of person who would always go the extra mile to help a family member, and we’ve had a number of significant letters from people within the medical profession telling us just how good she was at her job.”

Following the news of her death, Prince William wrote a letter to her family expressing his and Kate’s condolences.

“We were both very shocked to hear about Jacintha, and have been thinking a lot about her recently. Many of the nurses in the hospital spoke highly of her, and I’m sure you know how great a nurse she was,” the couple said at the time, according to PEOPLE. The Australian radio station said they were “deeply saddened” by the news of her passing following the prank.

The family also received a donation from Southern Cross Austereo, the radio station’s parent company, and they are planning to use those funds to build the hospital, which is due to open next year.

The family of the nurse who took her own life after mistakenly leaking Duchess Kate’s health records is speaking out 5 years after her death Left: Fred Duval/Getty Images_Right: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Nicole is a content editor with Rare. 
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